BRINNON, Wash. — Don't do tents? Don't have an RV? You can still stay in a Washington State Park — without roughing it. Campers have been making themselves happy by staying in structures from yurts to lighthouse keepers' homes to cabins, all located in our state parks.
“Universally, they love it. They love staying in platform tents and our roofed accommodations because they get to experience nature,” said Ranger Drew Fetherston, an assistant area manager who talked to us from Dosewallips State Park on the Hood Canal. "It has a lot of the amenities of home, but they're out here in the woods.”
Fetherston showed us the canvas platform tents at Dosewallips State Park. They have more going for them than a tranquil setting — they're a steal at 59 dollars a night before tax. Plus, you don’t have to rely on the outdoor fire pit to stay warm.
"All the platform tents and the cabins are heated, they also have power,” Fetherston said. speaking about the three platform tents and twelve cabins at Dosewallips. They have power, heat, room for four, and enough furniture for ample comfort. The bunk beds in the cabin are made from logs — you can count growth rings instead of sheep as you drift off to sleep.
Also, some of these spaces have accommodations like wheelchair ramps — making a night out in nature available to anyone.
"Two out of the 12 cabins we have here at Dosewallips State Park are ADA compliant and accessible,” Fetherston said.
More than 30 Washington State Parks have alternative accommodations. Dozens of parks have yurts. You can stay in Victorian-style houses that once served military officers, or a small castle at Fort Worden in Port Townsend. You can even sleep in a lighthouse keeper’s home at Cape Disappointment.
Prices vary but all of these places are a better deal than a standard hotel room. Plus, no hotel room we've ever seen offers an eagle’s nest as an amenity. There’s a big one in view of the cabins at Dosewallips.
"Our resident eagles, they're here year after year," Fetherston said.
This ranger's advice for nabbing any alternative accommodation at a state park?
Reserve online — early. Because the only feeling that comes close to the joy of being in nature is the satisfaction of getting a great deal!